Last night Michael and I were driving through the East-Central Illinois fog, listening to the syndicated radio program "Radio Deluxe," hosted by John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey. The program presents the aural illusion of being broadcast from a penthouse on Lexington Avenue in New York (though the program is produced on the west coast), and claims to feature what people like to refer to as the "Great American Songbook." The hosts sure spend a great deal of time making sure the audience knows who they are, but last night they neglected to give what would have been some much-appreciated information about the music they were playing.
They played, among other things, a recorded performance of "Oh Well" from Leonard Bernstein's On The Town (the 1944 stage production--the song never made it into the movie) by Tony Bennett and Bill Evans. Michael noticed that Evans was substituting the chords from his "Peace Piece" in his accompaniment (the chord progression is also used in "Flamenco Sketches" on Miles Davis' Kind of Blue). I knew the song as a Bernstein duet, and appreciated Evans' extended harmonies, but didn't recognize them as belonging to another piece (or two). Michael knows a lot of things that I don't know (so reader, I married him), but he didn't know that the song was written by Leonard Bernstein.
Though Pizzarelli and Molaskey waxed on and on about what a well-written song it was, they didn't even mention the name of the composer, or that the lyrics were by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Pizzarelli and Molasky also mentioned nothing about Evans' harmonic interpretation of the song.
With all the information available at the touch of a button, why do these people (who are musicians themselves) feel that it is acceptable to give so little information about the music they play? Who do they think their audience is? Perhaps Michael and I should start broadcasting radio programs from our 1996 Corolla. We could call it Corolla Deluxe.